The tradition of interval acts between the songs in the competition programme and the announcement of the voting has been established since the inaugural contest in 2003. Interval entertainment has included such acts as girl group Sugababes and rock band Busted (2003), Westlife in 2004, juggler Vladik Myagkostupov from the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil (2005) and singer Katie Melua in 2007. Former Eurovision Song Contest participants and winners have also performed as the interval act, such as Dima Bilan and Evridiki in 2008, Ani Lorak (2009), Alexander Rybak in 2010 and Sirusho (2011). Emmelie de Forest and the co-host that year, Zlata Ognevich, performed in 2013. 2015 host Poli Genova and Jedward were two of the interval acts in 2016.
The winners of Junior Eurovision from 2003 to 2009 performed a medley of their entries together on stage during the 2010 interval.
The previous winner has performed on a number of occasions since 2005, and from 2013 all participants have performed a “common song” together on stage during the interval. Similar performances took place in 2007 and 2010 with the specially-commisionned UNICEF songs “One World” and “A Day Without War” respectively, the latter with Dmitry Koldun. The official charity song for the 2012 contest was “We Can Be Heroes”, the money from the sales of which went to the Dutch children’s charity KidsRights Foundation.
The 2008 event in Limassol, Cyprus finished with the presenters inviting everyone on stage to sing “Hand In Hand”, which was written especially for UNICEF and the Junior Eurovision Song Contest that year.
Ruslana was invited to perform at the 2013 contest which took place in her country’s capital Kiev. Nevertheless, on the day of the contest she withdrew her act from the show considering the violence shown by the Ukrainian authorities against those who were peacefully protesting in the country’s capital.
Since 2004 (with the exceptions of 2012, 2014 and 2017), the opening of the show has included a “Parade of Nations” or the “Flag Parade”, similar to the Olympic Games opening ceremony. The parade was adopted by the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 and has continued every year since.